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To: Members of Dáil Éireann (all TDs)

Support legal protections for students living in Digs

Give students living in Digs a basic level of legal protections. 

Why is this important?

The student accommodation crisis in Ireland is escalating, with a severe shortage of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) forcing many students to settle for less-than-ideal living situations.

One common option is Digs, where students live in a homeowner's spare room. The government encourages this by allowing homeowners to earn up to €14,000 tax-free. While practical, this has left students vulnerable, with no legal protections. In some cases, students in Digs can face overnight eviction, excessive restrictions, or misrepresentation of their living arrangement, all while homeowners benefit from tax relief.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) sees the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2024 to address these issues. This bill introduces moderate legal protections for those living in Digs, such as minimum notice periods for ending a tenancy and ensuring rented rooms cannot be entered without prior notice. These protections align with those guaranteed to students in PBSA.

We understand the government's concern that mandatory written agreements might discourage homeowners from renting out spare rooms. However, USI research shows that in 66% of cases where an agreement exists, it was the homeowner who suggested it. This indicates that such agreements are not a significant barrier.

We urge you to view this legislative proposal with an open mind and support the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2024, ensuring students have basic rights in this government-endorsed living option.

Thank you for your consideration.

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2024-07-03 09:05:40 +0100

500 signatures reached

2024-07-02 15:48:23 +0100

100 signatures reached

2024-07-02 15:33:27 +0100

50 signatures reached

2024-07-02 15:28:16 +0100

25 signatures reached

2024-07-02 15:23:15 +0100

10 signatures reached